4 former players Packers have desperately missed in 2022

(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /
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Green Bay Packers, Za'Darius Smith
Green Bay Packers, Za’Darius Smith (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) /

2. Za’Darius Smith

Again, the Packers had little choice but to move on from Za’Darius Smith this past offseason. Smith was set for a huge cap hit and Green Bay couldn’t afford it. Add in the fact Smith had only played one game in 2021 due to injury, and the Packers made the right call.

Despite that, it hurts to see Smith dominating for the rival Minnesota Vikings. And given the lack of consistency from the Packers’ pass rush, we can only wish he was still wearing the green and gold.

Smith has been outstanding in his first year with Minnesota. He is back to his best after dealing with a significant injury last season. In 11 games for the Vikings, Smith has made 9.5 sacks, 17 quarterback hits, and a career-high four pass defenses.

Smith made a sack and two quarterback hits in his Vikings debut against the Packers, and there’s no doubt he’ll have a point to prove when he returns to Lambeau Field later this season. Smith often saves his best football for the biggest stage, and he would love nothing more than to dominate the Packers’ offensive line at Lambeau.

Green Bay’s defense would be significantly better had Za’Darius Smith still been on the team.